How to Thrift Store Shop

Typography Photography - Thrift Shop
Normally on Thursdays I like to share my latest thrifty finds but I’ve been trying to do some stash busting lately and work on what I have. Ya know, clear a path through the garage and all. So I thought I would share my thrifting tips with you all. For some of you, you may have been thrifting for years and you could probably teach me a thing or two….so take my advice for what it’s worth.
The first thing to do is find your local thrift stores. I have used The Thrift Shopper many times to locate thrift stores in my area or an area that I will be visiting. You pop your zip code into the locator and it will list out all of the charity driven thrift stores in that area. You may also want to do a general search for non-charity thrift stores in your area as well. 
Now that you have found all the thrift stores in your area, it’s time to go check them out! There is more than a good chance that you will walk into some thrift stores and want to immediately turn and run. There is also a good chance that you will walk into some and feel as though you have stumbled into thrift heaven! Give each store a few chances. You will soon learn which thrift stores have more of the items that you want and which ones are a waste of your time. For example, I rarely look through the clothes so I don’t bother with the stores that don’t carry furniture or household goods.
Once you learn which stores you want to frequent then it’s time to learn when the sales are. Most of them have certain days every week where they have their sales. Most thrift stores will do half off days or special teacher/student/military/senior sale days. When you can buy a chair for $10 it’s a good deal…..when you can buy it for $5 it’s even better!
When your getting ready to head out to start your thrifty shopping make sure you have cash on hand. There are a lot of thrift stores that accept credit/debit cards but there are also many that will only accept cash. I have also found that it’s easier to stick to a thrifty budget if you bring along the right amount of cash. 
These are spray paint colors.
When you are looking through the gobs of outdated furniture, dusty home accessories, and what can only be described as questionable items of unknown purpose; just remember that almost anything can be re-purposed. Picking up a can of spray paint and giving something a color makeover is one of the easiest and biggest ways to transform an item. Although, there are endless ideas and ways to transform your latest thrifty finds. All you need is a bit of imagination. So if you see something you like but it’s a bit outdated, damaged, or just ugly; try to see it’s potential.
So you’ve found all the best thrift stores in your area, you know when all the good sales are, you’ve got cash in hand, your mind is open to what you may find, NOW GO SHOPPING! And go often! So maybe you came home with a car full your first time out or maybe you walked away empty handed. Don’t let it discourage you. To find all of the best items you must shop often. You may go out several times before scoring big, but your persistence will pay off over time. There are days when I get to devote several hours to going thrift store chain shopping and there are the days when I have a few extra minutes so I run into one shop quickly. Either way I try to stop by some of my favorites often.
Typography Art Print by Ashley G - I'd Rather Be Thrifting
So now that you have your thrift store game plan, don’t be surprised if you get totally addicted to it. I get a total high from thrift shopping, especially when I find something so totally awesome! Go out and give it a try! But make sure you come back here and let me know how it went!!!
Linking up to these great link parties!!!


  1. lOVE THIS POST! I love thrift store shopping

  2. What an awesome post! I’m still trying to figure out the good thrift stores where I live now, I’ve been to only one and it didn’t measure up to my old favorite thrift store at all.
    Hope you’re having a great day!

  3. I thrift every chance I get! Follow my blog! I’ll follow yours!



  4. i am a thrifty addict too! love it!!!

  5. perfect!!

  6. It certainly is fun going to thrift shops – I often wonder about the original owners of things I buy!

  7. Thanks for the Thrift Store shopping tips! We would love to have you come share this at our weekly link party every Saturday! -The Sisters

  8. A thrift store post filled with personality. I can tell your my kind of a girl. I love thrift store shopping. I try and do a monthly roundup of my finds. I hope you inspire others to experience the joys of thrifting!

    *found you at tatertots and jello

  9. Visiting from Show and Tell Saturday and so glad I made the click! Love your tips and especially your images (if you come by to say hello sometime you’ll see why). Everyone has her style and we can all learn from each other to make the world a better place for thrifting!

  10. Thanks, these are great tips. I didn’t know there was a thrift store finder. I am a follower visiting from Show and Tell Saturday. Vicky from Mess For Less

  11. As a new “thrifter” I have found this to all be true. I used to hate the thought of going into a thrift store, but now I love it! It’s so fun imagining what a can of spray paint could do!

  12. yay – who doesn’t love a good thrifty shopping adventure??!! xo

  13. Lots of good advice here. Thanks. 🙂

  14. Thanks for posting this. I just love thrifting!! I make “the rounds” to the ones in my area about once a month, but I have my favorite that I try to stop at once a week when I can. I’ve also used that web site to see what stores are in other areas we’re traveling to as you suggested. We’ve found some real gems that way. Have a great week!

  15. Thank you so much for the tips, Courtney! I’ve never heard of that site! Love it! I’m including a link back in this week’s highlights! 😉 Enjoy the weekend!


  16. Saw your feature on the DIY Showoff and I’m your newest follower. The thrift stores and flea markets are my favorite shopping destinations–seems like most of my house is thrifted at this point. Thanks for the great tips! Come visit us at 11MagnoliaLane when you can!

  17. Love thrift stores! My local salvation army has a sale the last the weekend of the month with all clothing .50. Then they will do additional sales on top of this one! We also have a Deseret Industries which is a little pricier but a nice clean store, and a children’s non profit. The best way to find something you want is to know that you may not find it right away but if you keep going back it will be there like long lost treasure! Learning upholstery is very easy and helps too!


  1. […] 29, 2012 by Courtney Carmean 8 Comments A few weeks ago I wrote about How to Thrift Store Shop, sharing my tips and hints for successful thrifting. Today I’m going to talk about what I […]

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